whistling & whispering : : jack smith(s) & the cobra woman
November 26, 2007 3:40 AM   Subscribe

Whispering Jack Smith, an early crooner, sings - From 1929./ / Whistling Jack Smith, an imposter, lies - I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman [+da hool long]. / / At the bottom of the pool : : the perfect filmic appositeness of Maria Montez. / / Jack Smith, Blastitudinal Love & MORE.. . in their NEWEST pagan sensation!

: : World War I veteran and gas attack survivor Whispering Jack Smith was among the first singers to take advantage of the newly invented microphone as an amplifying agent in the development of the fine and subtle art of crooning.

: : Forget stately Wayne Manor. The real question here is why Kaiser Wilhelm II, emperor of Germany and king of Prussia, would have needed a small-b batman (a British soldier assigned duty as servant to an officer) in the first place. And when that's settled, we can work on the question of "Who was [Whistling] Jack Smith?"

: : By all accounts, Smith was difficult but charismatic, a magical trickster manically involved in all kinds of projects at all times. Never far from poverty, he was gifted in seducing actors and friends and in "appropriating" materials he needed for his art. He used cheap, sometimes discarded, color reversal stock to immortalize the drag queens, mermaids, vampires, naked poets, and other "creatures" who populate his films. Smith, who died in 1989 of pneumocystis, was a trickster second to none in whose remarks, even the impromptu ones - "O Maria Montez, give socialist answers to a rented world!" - lay treasures of wit and pleasure.
posted by j.henry (15 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
: : errata : : meant to link this where it sez "I Was" instead of merely doubling the dubious dancer.
posted by j.henry at 3:48 AM on November 26, 2007

I think I'm going to have nightmares about Whispering Jack tonight.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:57 AM on November 26, 2007

Whistling Jack, too.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:03 AM on November 26, 2007

I don't know what John Farnham [no relation to Air Supply] was thinking of but I'm sure it wasn't this. Whoa! Great stuff.
posted by tellurian at 4:43 AM on November 26, 2007

re: 'batman'; see also
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:49 AM on November 26, 2007

Heavens to Betsy! I just got to the Jack Smith link. Talk about visceral [seriously, how good is UbuWeb], I love it.
posted by tellurian at 5:07 AM on November 26, 2007

posted by DU at 5:52 AM on November 26, 2007

DU: double slashes typically mark new stanzas or caesuras in poetic notation -- esp. when academic forms or a rigid excerpting context disable the space given the original work. you cld, however, readily consider it a pause or a space for breath -- also maybe an interruption not ceasing to be part of a whole. double colons are most often translated as "as," as you may recall from standardized analogy testing [feeling triply asthmatic] -- tho as a punctilios, this dotted foursome has been adopted in a number of ways by a wide array of conceptual writers & linguistic miscreants -- in any case, i'm sure, both operating well before mark-up languages & the internets! tho, truth be told, i'm far from an adherent to hegemonic syntactic regimes ;-)

dear flapjax, my apologies fer yr nocturnal disruptions!!! dear tellurian, last i checked, weirdomusic has a bunch of smith things too, if yr interested -- &yes: agreed! onward ubu soldiers!
posted by j.henry at 6:49 AM on November 26, 2007

Excellent first post—thanks!
posted by languagehat at 7:01 AM on November 26, 2007

I thought I was reading Perl code for a second there.
posted by tommasz at 7:37 AM on November 26, 2007

&i was trying so hard for propriety with capitals'n periods'n everything!

Oopsie! but OK -- duly noted MeFis -- will keep the hands where you can see 'em next post promise!

forgive: still picking up meta mores n filtering netiquettes.
posted by j.henry at 7:40 AM on November 26, 2007

I think I remember him from The Shining.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:25 AM on November 26, 2007

(I was referring to the whispering one, not the whistling mop-topped one.)
posted by miss lynnster at 9:27 AM on November 26, 2007

me, I liked the way this post was formatted. it was eye-catching and engaging. I didn't realize there was a MeFi style sheet or even an informal consensus on What Shouldn't Be Done. irrespective of the possible existence of either, originality in presentation that doesn't obscure content shouldn't be discouraged.

kudos on a good posting.
posted by the sobsister at 11:33 AM on November 26, 2007

Who's that rustic old civilian?
That's her daddy, worth a million.

Oh golly! Ain't she cute?
posted by squalor at 11:37 AM on November 26, 2007

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